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STX Airport Ramp Agent Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Smuggling Cocaine

Charles Rawlins III, 39, of St. Croix, was sentenced by Judge Wilma A. Lewis in District Court to 48 months incarceration, followed by three years of supervised release, 100 hours of community service, a $2,000 fine, and a $200 special assessment for drug smuggling, United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced Monday.

Rawlins pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, according to the press release.

Co-defendant Wayne Jeffers is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Lewis on Dec. 15, the press release stated.

According to court documents, in the early morning hours of May 11, 2022, Jeffers, 52, a
Virgin Islands Port Authority officer stationed at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix placed a black suitcase containing 12 bricks of cocaine inside a ladder truck that was parked on the ramp of the airport. Later that morning, Rawlins, an airport ramp worker, removed the suitcase from the ladder truck and placed it on a baggage cart to be loaded on a Seaborne Silver aircraft destined for San Juan, PR. The luggage containing the cocaine was later seized by Customs and Border Protection Officers. A drug analysis conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Southeast Laboratory in Miami, FL, confirmed that the seized substance was cocaine with a net weight of 12.01 kilograms.

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